"Mary" described an event to me about how, when her child was suddenly removed into "Care", that she had to appear in Family Court. She says she was horrified, she had never been in a court in her life. She had to hang around with criminals and drug addicts in the halls waiting for her case to be heard.
She was told by her solicitor, "go along with the HSE, these people are there to protect children and help you" and like a fool, she says now, she followed this legal advice. The court was cleared and held In-Camera, she was glad at the time that the public and the media were not there to witness this, she felt like a criminal. She was not even accused of harming her child.
During the hearing, she was not entitled to know what evidence was being brought up against her, so she had no opportunity to defend herself. A social worker lied and twisted facts. Mary told the court of a conference where a social worker, a recent college graduate with no children or life experience, threatened her that she would report her to the Gardai for child abuse if she did not co-operate. The social worker testified that the meeting never even took place.
She was gagged twice by the system. She was informed that if she talked to anyone that she would be jailed. She was gagged again by the social workers that if she talked to ANYBODY, that they would cut her visits to her child.
When she left the court that day, she wished that the media had been present. Heresay "Evidence" was the entire case against Mary and the subjective opinion of ONE person, who lied and exaggerated everthing, was accepted by the judge without question. The Solicitor that she hired, hardly asked any questions and did not put up a defense for her. She asked the solicitor; "why didn't you defend me in there?", to which the solicitor replied, "the HSE are my bread and butter".
After many months, the HSE walked into court and said they had no further concern for Mary and her child and recommended the child be returned at once to her care, the judge complied. Later when we investigated the case, we found that the HSE had removed the WRONG CHILD from the wrong parent.We have proof of this, however, the matter cannot be reported to Gardai as the mother would be breaking the In-Camera rule, she would be jailed. She wishes now, that at least, if there was video and audio recording of the proceedings, that she had a copy of everything, even though she could not legally use it to report a crime.
Mary in my opinion was "Lucky" compared to many parents. People tell me that the original reason why the child was taken will vary from court hearing to court hearing. When they cannot prove anything against you, you will be sent to a Forensic Psychologist who will give you a barrage of tests. Most of the Irish ones are good and honest and in the vast majority of cases will find nothing wrong with the parent, at a minimum of €5,000 per report. I have talked to several people who have been sent to several Psychologists until ONE can find a negative label to place on the parent. It took her years to pay her legal fees as she did not apply for Legal Aid and she and her child suffered many hardships trying to pay the bills and recover from the emotional trauma they experienced.
I have documented evidence of the HSE sending parents to "Hired Gun" Psychologists to get a negative report, mostly in the UK and Northern Ireland. There is a case before the Supreme Court today to ease the In-Camera Rule, to allow a Psychologist be investigated for perjury, there are witnesses and audio tape, but the matter cannot even be investigated.
I have never believed that Judges are corrupt, I believe Judges have done something far worse by allowing the system to become corrupt. In about 8,000 cases last year people lied and exagerated and nobody was ever punished, except for the children who were wrongly removed from the families. In the cases of all the children who died in"Care", who went missing, who were raped, emotionally abused, were shuffled off from home to home, in each of these cases, a Judge signed the Orders allowing it to happen. It's time the judges were held accountable.
I have seen in family courts where judges have sided 100% with the HSE and were reluctant to go against them. I believe Judges are guilty of protecting their own reputations above doing what is best for children. If a child dies in State Care, nobody is ever responsible. The HSE slough off responsiblity saying it was the Judge who signed the orders. All of this can take place with huge secrecy and the HSE and even the Judges can hide behind the In-Camera Rule. They can make the most horrendous decisions and say it was don in the Best Interests of the child.
The average person in Ireland doesn't even realise that if a person is accused of child abuse or neglect in a Criminal Court, even if they are vindicated, they will still be punished in a family court. They will be guilty without having committed any crime and punished by having their children removed. Let us not forget, that the children are punished also.
If you give away the rights to your children to the State, you could end up losing your child forever.